April in Bhutan: travel to the “Thunder Dragon Kingdom” with Jamaliah Morais

Painters frequently rely on their memories—and Jamaliah Morais hopes you’ll join her next spring on an art-themed trek full of unforgettable sights.

From April 4 through April 16, 2014, Morais will serve as Guest Artist and Facilitator on a tour of the Kingdom of Bhutan—a land so remote that until the early 1960s, it was accessible only by foot from India and Tibet. Through the Singapore-based Insightful Learning Journeys, Morais will share her love of teaching and travel, showing you new places through the eyes of an artist who has studied Asian brush painting for more than 30 years.

Taktshang Monastery, Bhutan
photograph by Douglas J. McLaughlin

“Bhutan offers the promise of wonderful sights and scenes to paint,” Morais says. “Spectacular Himalayan mountain scenery, Buddhist pagodas and other artifacts, beautiful costumes—not to mention a culture characterized by the legendary tranquility of this mountain kingdom and its people.”

For nearly two weeks, participants will immerse themselves in Bhutanese life. They’ll see gorgeous valleys no painter could possibly invent, as well as thriving monasteries, picturesque ruins, bustling weekend markets, and sunrise over the vast Himalayas. All the while, Morais will help her traveling companions draw upon Bhutan as an once-in-a-lifetime subject of artistic inspiration.

“I’ll be encouraging and teaching others on the trip to paint with me, sharing with them some background and skills of this ancient art form,” she says. “In addition, I will also be doing some demonstrations on the tour, culminating in a small solo exhibition of my paintings at the Textile Museum of Bhutan.”

Jamaliah Morais, “Misty Mountains,”
Sumi-e watercolor

For Morais, combining plein air painting with cultural immersion is a crucial counterpoint to studio work. Adventure, she believes, calls forth art.

“Painting on site while facing your scenic subjects is so much more exciting,” she says. “During all of my travels, I carry with me a journal and watercolor sketchbook to quickly sketch scenes of natural beauty, some of which I later develop into complete paintings.”

Bring your own sketchbook and discover why your traveling companion has earned the praise of her peers, in language that perfectly suits Bhutan’s Spring Festival: “In Jamaliah’s paintings, the brush dances and the ink sings!”

To learn more about traveling through Bhutan with Jamaliah Morais, contact her at JGMArtist@aol.com or 703-683-5250, or visit her at the Torpedo Factory in studio 25. (She’ll hold an informational meeting about the trip in her studio on Thursday, August 29, 2013, at 6:30 p.m.) See more of her work at www.jamaliahmorais.com.

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